Thallium Stress Test (Thallium 201 Exercise Test)

This test is the same as a treadmill exercise test. This test checks the function of the heart during and after physical activity. In addition, an IV will be started and, at the peak of exercise, the patient will be injected with a mild isotope. The patient will then be escorted to the scanning room adjacent to the stress lab for approximately 30 minutes. From there, the patient will be free to leave and will return 3 hours later for a repeat scan.

1.5 hours in the Cardiovascular Department followed by a 3-hour break and a 30-minute repeat scan.


  • Wear loose clothing for exercising (tennis shoes, shorts, etc.)
  • Avoid the use of creams and lotions on the chest area
  • No eating after midnight for morning appointments (you may have water)
  • If your appointment is after 12 noon, you may have a light breakfast and lunch
  • Take your usual medications unless instructed otherwise by your physician--please bring a list of medications with you
  • No smoking on the day of the exam
  • Diabetic patients are encouraged to ask their physician for instructions when diet or medication changes are requested

If you have questions about preparing for this test, call your doctor or MyMichigan's Cardiovascular Department at (989) 839-3570.

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